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How to fix the sound of my Acoustic Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Virus85xp, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. Virus85xp


    Jan 16, 2012
    hi friends....

    I have a Dean acoustic bass... the Eabc... it has passive electronics on itself... if someone have it will know... my story start when i bought the bass. i have the guild 0.45 strings.(http://www.thomann.de/gr/guild_l905_...osphor_set.htm) when i plug the bass into my amp I understand that the D and G string isn't as loud as the E or A (G-D are very weak), and the bass didn't have good sound itself (unpluged) i tried to change the plastic saddle and I installed a bone one... the unplug sound is much better-louder but at the amplifier the G-D problem is still there... i change the stock transducer with a tone monster transducer from ebay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/TONE-MONSTER...-/111280596756) but the problem is still there... what is yours suggestion about my problem? if i change the electronics it will be better?

    please suggest the best solution that you know....

    (sorry about my English - Greece here)
  2. nashman


    Feb 11, 2011
    Can you adjust pickup height on your bass? The fastest, easiest and no cost option to try is to raise your pickup on the D/G side - so that the pickup angles up/closer to the DG strings than the E/A strings.
  3. Virus85xp


    Jan 16, 2012
    you mean the transducer? the only way that i can imagine is to adjust the strings lower by cutting the bone at the D-G side... but i will have problem with the fingerboard... i tried to do that with the plastic saddle and some frets had problems!
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Nashman: This is not a bass with a magnetic pickup that can be adjusted like that.

    Virus: The bottom of the slot that the bridge saddle sits in may not be perfectly flat. That can cause the problem you're experiencing. Some people have gotten more even volume by cutting the saddle in half between the A and D strings, which can allow the two saddle pieces to sit flat against the uneven bottom of the slot.
  5. Virus85xp


    Jan 16, 2012
    Intresting... the bone and the plastic saddle (espesialy the bone) the side that touches the transducer is raw... just the factory cutting... you suggest to cut the saddle at the middle to sit better at the transducer? is any possibilities to have tremors from the saddle?
  6. Virus85xp


    Jan 16, 2012
    What about the passive electronics?
  7. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Passive electronics don't work well with piezo pickups, but volume difference between strings shouldn't be a part of that.

    You want the bottom of the saddle and bottom of the slot to be flat and smooth. They should make full contact with no gaps. A raw edge or uneven surface can result in uneven volume between strings.

    I don't know what you mean by 'tremors'.
  8. Virus85xp


    Jan 16, 2012
    the bottom οf the bone is complete flat... if i cut the bone to two pieces as you said below, exist any possibilities to have bzzzzz... at the strings? or any unwanted sounds?
  9. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    The people I know who've done the same thing haven't had any problems with unwanted buzz, but it is possible for that to happen.
  10. Virus85xp


    Jan 16, 2012
    what if i cut the bone in 4 pieces? one for one string?
  11. raistlin

    raistlin Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2011
    I was about to post a similar question about my acoustic bass. I replaced the stock piezo pickup and eq with a Fishman Presys+ and my G drops nearly completely out of the amp. I will try cutting the saddle. Any other advice out there?
  12. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    To fix the problem you need to understand how the pickup works. "Piezo" means "pressure"- the sensors in that little metal strip react to pressure by creating an electrical current. For the piezo element to work corrrectly, both the bottom of the saddle and the floor of the slot have to be perfectly flat. And most cheap instruments have really bad and sloppy routing of that saddle slot. That's why replacing the cheap plastic saddle with a nice Tusq improved the acoustic sound but not the electric sound.

    Plus, on cheaper instruments the sensors frequently don't line up well with the strings- that strip is multiple sensors, not just one. So to fix the uneven response you need to even out the parts that squeeze the sensor when it's played. The hard part is getting the slot dead flat. Inspect it and see if there's dirt, fuzz, sawdust, stray strands of wood, etc. in the slot under the pickup. Especially around the hole where the cable goes into the body.

    Then get some very very fine sand paper (or emery paper) and put it on a sheet of glass. Rub the bottom of the saddle very gently to flatten and smooth it. You have to be careful to not rock the saddle in any direction while doing this. Your goal is to take as little material off the saddle as possible.

    Cutting the saddle in half also helps by preventing the saddle from rocking and making uneven contact. Cutting it into four sections might help, but I'd start with only doing two.

    Also, the pressure is dependent on the pressure put on the saddle by the strings so make sure the saddle is high enough that there's good downward pressure on the saddle by each string.